The .Jobs Backlash Has Begun

.Jobs process “stunk and lacked an open, honest, and transparent process” say some in career industry.

When .jobs was originally introduced as a top level domain name, the plan was to let companies register only their company name, and only for use promoting jobs at their company; e.g. and

The domain has floundered since so few domains could be registered. Hardly anyone even recognizes it as a URL when they see it.

But there’s money in them hills, so the inevitable expansion beyond the approved scope is under way. EmployMedia LLC just made its official request (pdf) to ICANN to release more .jobs domains last week.

Like many domain name processes, a lot of people don’t like how this one has played out. After all, .jobs was a sponsored TLD. Here’s what has to say:

Why should any job seeker, employer, job board owner, or other human resource professional care? Because the process stunk and lacked an open, honest, and transparent process. Despite SHRM’s many, many excellent conferences, publications, and other contributions to the human resource communities, it is making a terrible mistake here by seemingly washing its hands of a situation that it set in motion in 2005 when it partnered with Employ Media and petitioned ICANN to create the .jobs domain.

The approval specified that the .jobs domain names would be issued only with organization names and sold only to those organizations, so Microsoft could buy and Walmart could buy and use those domains to drive job seekers to their corporate career sites, but could not buy and drive candidates to its job board as we would have jobs from other organizations on our job board. Similarly, Microsoft could not buy domains such as or That’s all about to change and the only winner here is Employ Media.

Ted Daywalt of VetJobs is also unhappy.

The way existing job boards look at the opening of .jobs is either more competition or a shakedown to buy the equivalent .jobs domain.

Sounds a lot like the new TLD debate.


  1. says

    Restricted domains are by nature profit killers. A short sunrise period of restriction for industry professionals is OK, to then be followed by open and unrestricted registration to the masses. .jobs would have established a lasting footprint, same with .travel had they not been so confined.

    Restrictions on country codes is most definitely a good idea, but not the same as restricting these niche domains.

  2. Nic says

    Slightly different issue, but what happened to the .biz backlash, ie that never happened?

    In other words, whatever you think of the extension, I don’t recall anyone ever taking issue with non compliance of the registration terms.


    Registration Rules & Restrictions
    Are there restrictions on who can register .BIZ domain names?

    Yes. The .BIZ domain can only be used for a “bona fide business or commercial use”. A bona fide business use is one of the following:

    To exchange goods, services, or property of any kind;
    In the ordinary course of trade or business; or
    To facilitate (i) the exchange of goods, services, information, or property of any kind; or, (ii) the ordinary course of trade or business.
    Registering a domain name solely for the purposes of (1) selling, trading or leasing the domain name for compensation, or (2) the unsolicited offering to sell, trade or lease the domain name for compensation does not constitute a “bona fide business or commercial use” of that domain name.

  3. Snoopy says

    I doubt the is going to fly no matter how it is changed. Would say just open it up, the idea of restricted new tlds clearly hasn’t worked.

  4. says

    Oil spill stop: I wanted to write that :(

    Anyway, .jobs is too narrow niche and most sites will stay under .com .
    Why would I have when I can have and even people that are searching for my services might also find JOBS section and peak into it and might find themself capable of certain position and become my employees.

    No need of extra domain.

  5. says

    .MOBI also had an initial restriction (that I favored) whereby registrants had to erect a .mobi compliant site … I think within 6 months of registration. However, that seems to have not been enforced. The restiction did function to promote development and didn’t deter registration numbers.

    Similarly, .US has the nexus requirements for US citizenship or incorporation within the US. I believe that is a beneficial and appropriate restriction. And Neustar have enforced that I understand as in the Video.US case.

    Cananda too. To register .ca one must meet similar requirements though I don’t know to what extent that is actually enforced.

  6. says

    Thank you for bringing this .jobs issue to the attention of your readers. There’s no doubt that some job board owners are upset about this because of the likelihood of increased competition — 50,000 U.S. job boards could soon face an additional 1,000,000 job boards under Employ Media’s plans — but others like me are far more concerned with the process.

    Employ Media, SHRM, and others involved in this simply haven’t been straight. At times they’ve claimed no ICANN or other approvals are needed. At other times they’ve basically claimed they’re seeking the approvals out of the goodness of their hearts. SHRM formed a committee and one of the members resigned just before the vote was taken. Interestingly, his vote was explained as an abstention rather than a resignation, perhaps because that would have necessitated explaining why he resigned and I suspect the reasons for the resignation would have been embarrassing to SHRM and Employ Media.

    Let’s just get this whole process out of the smoke filled rooms. If the deal is so good for the employment community, then why not have the players admit their mistakes and in a truly public fashion lay out their vision for how to open up the .jobs domains to all? And while they’re at it, perhaps they can explain how it benefits the employment community to have Employ Media monopolize the process of selling and/or using the .jobs domains rather than all sellers of TLD’s as is the case with the .com, .net, and even .biz domains?

  7. CB says

    @jblack; To founder is to sink, to flounder is to struggle and move with difficulty. In this particular case, either would be appropriate.

  8. John Berryhill says

    “The word is FOUNDERED, not fLoundered.”

    The usage depends on whether it was done on porpoise.

  9. says

    This issue is all about competition to existing job boards.

    ICANN is going to face this issue with EVERY new gTLD. They will ALL face opposition from (mainly) .com websites that feel threatened by competition. We’ve seen it with .xxx, and we will see it with .sport, .bank, .paris, .movie, etc.

    competition means innovation, growth, more consumer choice and change. This is a good thing.

  10. LogDin says

    It’s a bunch of scammy sh*t. Go look to see who’s nameservers pop up for or – it’s the same nameserver, so I’m guessing the same company – but states that they check out the registrant to make sure they are who they say they are and that part of the terms of registration is that you cant put third party jobs in the content of the site – calling bullsh*t

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